One of the items that the family of Paul Giel donated today was a one of-a-kind personalized "Little Brown Jug," which was presented to Giel after a 22-0 win against Michigan in 1952.
Former Gopher great Paul Giel's legacy lives on at the University of Minnesota, but even more so as his family donated his awards back to the institution he loved. Paul's son, Tom, wife Sarah and family as well as Paul's daughter Gerilyn were all present when they donated the memorabilia to head football coach Jerry Kill. A football and baseball student-athlete at Minnesota and later the department's athletic director, Giel's son, Tom, donated an estimated $14,000 worth of awards back to Golden Gopher football.
"The items and memorabilia that my father was privileged to win is a testament to his days as a student athlete here at the University of Minnesota," Tom Giel said. "He loved being a Golden Gopher and these items need to be back within the Gopher family. We want others to enjoy it and if this can help a young man or woman to decide to come and compete here as a student athlete, it's worth it."
Giel's family donated six items to the University of Minnesota. Giel's All-American Sweater was worn by Paul while appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. A one-of-a-kind personalized "Little Brown Jug" was presented to Giel after a 22-0 win in 1952 against Michigan. The Giel family also donated two All-American autographed footballs from 1952 and 1953. The 1952 football was signed by 24 members of the 1952 All-America Football Team, including Heisman Trophy winner Billy Vessels. The 1953 football was signed by 22 All-America honorees, including Giel (runner-up) and Heisman winner Johnny Lattner. Giel's family also donated both of his Big Ten Most Valuable Player awards.
As a two-sport athlete, Giel has both of his numbers retired in football (No. 10) and in baseball (34). On the gridiron Giel was named as the College Football Player of the Year and finished runner-up to Notre Dame's Johnny Lattner in the Heisman Trophy race. In his career, he rushed for 2,188 yards; caught 281 passes; posted 417 return yards on both punts and kicks; en route to collecting 3,165 career all-purpose yards as well as 22 touchdowns. In addition, Giel starred as a pitcher on the baseball diamond, where, from 1953-54, he was named to the All-American and All-Big Ten teams and later went on to play Major League Baseball for six seasons. Giel was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975. Holding the athletics director title from 1971 to 1989, Giel passed away in 2002.
"I think it tells a lot about their family and their respect that they had for their dad," Coach Kill said. "This is a tremendous example of giving back to the program and the deep history here at the University of Minnesota. It's a great privilege for us to have the opportunity to showcase his accomplishments and the legacy of his family."